Don Mathis, Foreign Policy

Where Do You Stand on CISA?

Source: phylevn

Source: phylevn

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA as it is commonly known, is the latest government proposed act to splinter the American public when it comes to cyber safety and privacy rights. As it heads towards a Senate vote, many in government and the private sector are voicing their opinions. Many standing in opposition to CISA claim that this is just a revamped version of past acts that failed to reach the amount of votes needed. Conversely, in light of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believe it is time we move forward.

Here’s an overview of what has the Internet in flux this time around.

What is CISA?

If passed, CISA aims to bolster cybersecurity for both the public and private sector. To make this claim possible, companies will be allowed to share cyber threat information with the government. From there, the business will have the authority to combat some threats internally without the government’s intervention. While that may reassure some, privacy advocates and cybersecurity experts question the lack of clarity and potential overreach the provisions could extend to.

Those in opposition cite the government’s current lack of specifics in the bill. As it currently stands, the proposed bill fails to spell out what information can and cannot be shared with the government. Without clearer interpretations of its reach, anti-CISA advocates believe the authorities could take too many liberties.

This Sounds Familiar

And it should if you’ve been following cybersecurity news over the past few years.

Despite passing a 2013 House of Representatives vote, Senate opted to not vote on the act. Additionally, the White House threatened to veto the act after amendments to the act weren’t clear enough.

In addition to CISA moving through government, the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (PCNA) is up for debate as it passed the House this past April. Additionally, the past few years have seen many bills in similar fashion come up for vote. Those include the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

In short, CISA and PCNA might be new in name, but both sides of the argument are quite familiar with the gist of its intention.

What Happens Next?

As the Daily Dot hypothesizes, a likely outcome could find CISA and PCNA merge into one bill under the PCNA name. From there, they believe it will pass through the House and Senate after resolving differences before the White House signs off on the bill.

At this stage, the White House has mentioned reservations on both bills. Though, these reservations are far from the prior veto threats. As the Daily Dot goes on to speculate, this version of the bill should pass if it stays the current course it is on.

For those opposing new legislation, their voice will need to be heard if they want to stop the act from going into practice. Much like Net Neutrality, the public has shown its ability to take on big cyber policy. However, with bipartisan support this latest proposal stands poised to succeed.

In such a sensitive issue, it is recommended that you do your own thorough and investigative reading on the issue. While some fear the overreach of the act, others do make valid points that cybersecurity issues must be addressed before another debilitating act hits private or government operations.

from Don Mathis: Cybersecurity & Tech


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